Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What Students Do in College is More Important than Where They Go




While the general public believes students who go to universities with lots of status will be more successful and happier than those who go elsewhere, this is not the case. Studies published in the Wall Street Journal recently show engagement while in college is far more significant. Many high school students are overstressed and anxious, believing the false notion that attending a name university is the only way to succeed in life. One of my former students was convinced staying up late to study would improve her grades and chances to go to one such university. It had the opposite effect. After convincing her to get at least nine hours of sleep, her health and grades improved and her anxiety disappeared. She stopped stressing, and was able to attend college after graduation on a scholarship, as she had desired.


One study by Gallup-Purdue showed what does have a positive impact on future success and well-being. Thinking back to my own experiences in college, I realize I benefited from the key experiences listed in this study. I found when I took a course with a professor who made the subject exciting, I did better. I was lucky to have professors who took an interest in me personally. They even placed me with their most successful Master Teacher, when I graduated college. I didn’t have a mentor, which is another of the experiences the study found to be helpful, unless you count the professors who encouraged me.


Another key factor was working on some sort of project across semesters. My major and minors included becoming fluent in German and French, (plus English, which I was already, of course). Language study began for me in high school and continued through college. The internship which the study found to be helpful isn’t called an internship in education. It’s called Student Teaching. It’s the same thing as an internship, but unpaid. I dated while in college, and we did participate in some college activities. The study found doing so helped students, even later in life.


The underlined parts of the sentences above are the tips the Gallup-Purdue study found most significant for future success. Not surprising to me, they are also included in the sixteen defining habits of successful scholarships winners outlined in my book, Free College. What benefits high school students in being accepted to college and winning lots of scholarships, is vital while attending college, and beyond. My book contains ten more researched and proven tips, however. Half are initiated before high school, the others during high school. This means, of course, parents start helping students get ready for college and a lifetime success. They create the foundation. Students take over, for the most part, when they enter high school and college.


When selecting a college, don’t aim for one with a big name. Instead find one where the professors teach the courses, interact with students and show their concern. When visiting campuses, ask students if their classes are interesting, and how they're treated by their professors. See if the university provides or encourages mentorships. Find out about the college clubs and activities. Check them out, to determine if any appeal to you. Inquire into the university's department in the field you hope to study, to see if they have an internship program. These are far more important factors than if the university is considered prestigious.

Also make sure to check out the costs involved in attending. Being saddled with a heavy debt load won’t help you be either successful or happy after graduation. As I’ve suggested before, the best time to start applying for college scholarships is when a child is in elementary school. The second best time is today. Don’t stop until your student is a college graduate, with a Master’s Degree, if that is the ultimate goal.


You’re reading from the blog: https://www.roadtofreecollege.com/


Photo credit: Google Images 


If you’re interested in learning more about helping your children succeed, you can follow me on Twitter, @ElizaWallace27 or click on the image of my book, Free College, in the top right corner of this page. You'll be taken to Amazon, where you can read more about my book, and buy it now.


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Interview: College and Scholarship Readiness





Below is the script for an interview I participated in with Jodi Okun from her #CollegeCash series on Twitter. The interview took place in August of last year. Since it's no longer online, I’ve reorganized the format of the script a bit for easy reading, and posted it here on my blog.


Introduction:

Elizabeth Wallace started teaching at 7 years old in her neighbor’s backyard, and didn’t stop for over 35 years. During her career in education, she taught German, French and English, while also helping students get into college. After earning an MBA, she taught business administration in the U.S. and abroad. Elizabeth wrote Free College at the insistence of her sister, who said it was selfish to withhold the secrets of winning scholarships from students who didn’t happen to attend her school. Her goal while teaching was helping students reach theirs. Now she is showing them how to reach their goal of going to college without needing student loans.


Q1 What should parents be doing right now when it comes to preparing their kids for college?

A1 While children are little, read to them and with them, give books as gifts, visit bookstores and libraries.
A1 For elementary aged children, enroll them in music lessons. Find lessons nearby and encourage them to continue through middle school.
A1 Find a sport each child likes and could continue for life, swimming, tennis, track, etc. Encourage them to participate through high school.


Q2 Is there a financial aid to-do list for elementary, middle and high school students?

A2 Parents of elementary students should find scholarships and apply for all which are available to the age group of their children.
A2 Help middle school aged children apply for a few scholarships each month.
A2 High school freshmen and sophomores should apply for a one or two each week; while juniors and seniors should apply for a minimum of three each week, and continue until they’ve graduated from college.


Q3 Where should parents and students look for scholarships?  

A3 Start with family connections at work, church, civic clubs, fraternities, other associations and groups.
A3 Move on to civic organizations, foundations, local, state and federal grants and scholarships.
A3 Spread out online, use mobile apps, social media sites, such as @Scholarships360 and fastweb @payingforschool on Twitter, etc.


Q4 What are the most important strategies parents and students can use outside of school?  

A4 Enroll children in enrichment courses at a local college beginning in elementary, and continuing through high school.
A4 Find a safe place in the community for students to volunteer.
A4 Learn how to play a musical instrument and take lessons through middle school.
A4 Stick to all of these over time. Colleges like to see consistency.


Q5 When is the right time to visit a college?

A5 Families can visit colleges informally while taking family vacations or attending concerts, festivals and other public events.
A5 Students should be enrolled in enrichment courses on college campuses each summer.
A5 Start making formal visits to tour colleges by ninth grade.


Q6  What tips do you have when it comes to testing?  

A6 The most successful and least stressed students start studying for tests the first week classes begin.
A6 Many practice tests for the SAT and ACT are available online for free; use them to become comfortable with their formats.
A6 Get enough sleep the night before and eat a complete, healthy breakfast (with no added sugar) the morning of a test.


Q7 How do students win scholarships?  

A7 The most successful start getting ready at a very young age.
A7 They fulfill all Standard A – G requirements, but go over and above them, so they stand out from the crowd; example: take more foreign languages than required, and for longer.
A7 To win scholarships, students must apply, over and over. Don’t stop until the last year of college.


Q8  Should parents (or grandparents) use retirement funds to pay for their children’s college education?

A8 No. Never. Not for any reason. Okay, maybe if you’re in the top 1% of earners in the nation.
A8 There are many grants and scholarships for college, but none for retirement.
A8 Learn how to help students win scholarships and grants.


Q9 Tell us more about your book “Free College How Graduates Earn The Most Scholarship Money”

A9 I researched graduates who earn lots of scholarship money and found a pattern of behaviors.
A9 I included a step-by-step guide to the strategies and habits of the most successful scholarship winners in Free College.
A9 Students of families who adopt these habits, and apply for many scholarships, will  be among the highest scholarship winners.


Q10 What are three things you want to leave us with tonight?

A10 Earning more free cash for college is possible by practicing a few disciplines every day.
A10 Student loan debt cannot be eliminated by bankruptcy, but it can be avoided by earning enough scholarships.
A10 I don’t have the power to eliminate college tuition, but I have exposed the secrets of successful scholarship winners for families of preschool through high school students to follow, so they can avoid taking out student loans.



You’re reading from the blog: https://www.roadtofreecollege.com/



Photo credit: Google Images 



If you’re interested in learning more about helping your children succeed, you can follow me on Twitter, @ElizaWallace27 or click on the image of my book, Free College, in the top right corner of this page. You'll be taken to Amazon, where you can read more about my book, and buy it now.